Organic Consumers Association

Sign by Jan. 10! Support Healthy Soils!

The federal government has finally recognized that increasing soil carbon is an essential part of the solution to climate change!

TAKE ACTION by midnight, January 10: Sign our petition in support of the Framework for a Federal Strategic Plan for Soil Science.

After you’ve signed the petition, please also submit comments here: https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=OSTP-2016-0016-0001

If you’ve participated in our global coalition, Regeneration International, or our Cook Organic, Not the Planet campaign, you know that transitioning to regenerative organic and pasture-based agriculture is what we need to do to feed the world and avert a climate disaster..

You know, but do our decision makers?

We thought our call for the U.S. to recognize the most hopeful and most practical climate strategy, and the only shovel-ready plan for reversing climate change, had fallen on deaf ears…until now.

In two new strategy documents, U.S. climate and soil experts have concluded that increasing soil carbon is an essential part of the solution to climate change.

The National Science and Technology Council’s Soil Science Interagency Working Group’s “The State and Future of U.S. Soils: A Framework for a Federal Strategic Plan for Soil Science” officially recognizes that:

Soil is essential to human life. Not only is it vital for providing most of the world’s food, it plays a critical role in ensuring water quality and availability; supports a vast array of non-food products and benefits, including mitigation of climate change; and affects biodiversity important for ecological resilience. These roles make soil essential to modern life.

Thus, it is imperative that everyone—city dwellers, farmers and ranchers, land owners, and rural citizens alike—take responsibility for caring for and investing in our soils.

And . . .

Soils have the ability to store a significant portion of Earth’s biologically active carbon through the interplay between organic inputs by primary producers, soil organic matter stabilization, and assimilation and mineralization by soil organisms. In fact, soil represents the largest pool of carbon in the terrestrial biosphere. Carbon enters the soil via plants (photosynthesis-derived carbon through root systems or detritus from dead leaf, stem, and woody materials). But anthropogenic processes, such as fossil fuel use, have increased atmospheric CO2 concentrations to over 400 parts per million.

The Framework for a Federal Strategic Plan for Soil Science fits into the larger U.S. strategic plan for addressing climate change, the “United States Mid-Century Strategy For Deep Decarbonization.”

The Strategy for Deep Decarbonization names three things we need to do to achieve net-zero global greenhouse gas emissions and avoid the most dangerous impacts of climate change. Sandwiched between “Transitioning to a low-carbon energy system” and “Reducing non-CO2 emissions” are the words we’ve been waiting to hear:

Sequestering carbon through forests [and] soils … by bolstering the amount of carbon stored and sequestered in U.S. lands (“the land sink”) … which can provide “negative emissions.”

According to the Strategy for Deep Decarbonization:

1)    There is an “opportunity to significantly increase carbon stored in cropland and grassland soils, creating potential to enhance agricultural productivity while generating a carbon sink of hundreds of millions of tons of CO2 annually by 2050,”
2)    “The land sink” could store the equivalent of 45 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 2050,
3)    “Carbon storage in cropland and pasture can be increased through practices like no-till, cover crops, management intensive grazing, agroforestry, and other innovations,”
4)    “Carbon reporting, accounting, and monitoring tools can help ensure we are supporting the most cost-effective land-based mitigation investments,”
5)    Farm programs should “incentivize producers to choose production practices that minimize climate change impacts and that achieve multiple strategic carbon, conservation, and water goals for every dollar of federal investment,” and
6)    “Swift action” is needed, as “every decade of delayed climate policy increases the costs of meeting a given emissions target by about 40 percent.”

The only blind spot in the Strategy for Deep Decarbonization is its failure to recognize that the land-management practices that are known to reduce emissions and increase carbon storage, “including no till or reduced till, cover crops, residue management, planting field borders and other areas with perennial grasses and other native plants, and crop rotations,” are ubiquitous in organic farming, where they are necessary for managing weeds, pests and fertility in the absence of synthetic herbicides, insecticides and fertilizers.

The Strategy for Deep Decarbonization fails to see the obvious connection between organic farming and practices that increase soil organic carbon, and poses, as a question, how the growing demand for organic foods can align with deep decarbonization goals!

The two strategy documents on Soil Science and Deep Decarbonization fail to go all the way and name the solutions they describe as “regenerative organic agriculture.”  But if the strategies were implemented, that’s exactly what we would have.

TAKE ACTION by midnight, January 10: Sign our petition in support of the Framework for a Federal Strategic Plan for Soil Science.

After you’ve signed the petition, please also submit comments here: https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/microsites/ostp/SSIWG_Framework_December_2016.pdf



1-25 of 7140 signatures
Number Date Name Location Comments (Optional)
7140 4 days ago David Mickelsen , US
7139 3 weeks ago Hanna Madler , US
7138 3 weeks ago Hanna Madler , US
7137 4 weeks ago Brian Cornett , US
7136 1 month ago Nathan Tannenbaum , US
7135 1 month ago Romeo Tango , US
7134 1 month ago jane dow , US
7133 1 month ago G. Bommelaere , US
7132 1 month ago Elizabeth Maupin , US
7131 1 month ago Betty Fischer , US
7130 1 month ago ElsaMarie Butler , US
7129 1 month ago Anonymous , US
7128 1 month ago Cee Earegood , US
7127 1 month ago DAVID BORETZ , US
7126 2 months ago Tracy Schoborg , US
7125 2 months ago Lindsay Buell , US
7124 2 months ago tasneem abdolaziz EG
7123 2 months ago Anonymous CA
7122 2 months ago Sheila Mandell , US
7121 2 months ago Paul Yuff , US
7120 2 months ago Charlie Biel , US Signing a bit late but just read this and notice that others are still signing the petition. Good Luck!
7119 2 months ago Stacey Govito , United States
7118 2 months ago Anonymous , US
7117 2 months ago Anonymous , US
7116 2 months ago Cheryl Carmona , US
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